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Albanian Times, 96-10-18

The Albanian Times (by AlbAmerica TRade & Consulting International) Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: AlbAmerica Trade & Consulting International <http://www.worldweb.net/~ww1054/>

Albanian Times
October 18, 1996


CONTENTS

  • [01] OSCE Cancels All Monitoring Plans in Albania
  • [02] U.S. Officials Worried Over Albania-OSCE Rift
  • [03] U.S. OSCE Commission Criticizes Albania Over Monitors
  • [04] Italy to Send Record Observer Team to Albania

  • [01] OSCE Cancels All Monitoring Plans in Albania

    VIENNA, Oct 17 - The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has cancelled all plans to send observers to monitor Albanian local polls on Sunday, an OSCE spokeswoman said on Thursday. The OSCE decided to scrap a 19-strong delegation from its parliamentary assembly following a dispute between Tirana and the OSCE's main observer body, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the spokeswoman said. The ODIHR announced on Wednesday that it would not monitor the local polls after the Albanian government rejected part of its team list. ``The parliamentary assembly decided today to cancel its delegation because of the Albanian government's refusal to accept the full (ODIHR) list,'' the spokeswoman told Reuters. In Tirana, the opposition has reacted negatively to the new development. Socialist spokesman Kastriot Islami said the dispute strengthens the isolationist tendencies of the government. Arben Puto from the Albanian Human Rights Group said the withdrawal of the OSCE observers raises doubts on the credibility of Sunday's election. (Albanian Times/Reuter)

    [02] U.S. Officials Worried Over Albania-OSCE Rift

    WASHINGTON, October 16 - State Department officials have voiced disappointment at Albania's rift with OSCE, the Washington Post said in a report on Thursday. According to the report, spokeswoman Elizabeth Pryor said the United States reacted to the circumstances surrounding the OSCE's move with "more than disappointment." "We are deeply troubled," she was quoted as saying. The Clinton administration supports the monitoring unit's decision not to send an insufficient election team, she said, and, as it did in May, called on Albania to conduct its election in accordance with OSCE standards. According to the Post, The Council of Europe will be the sole intergovernmental organization monitoring the elections in Albania. The incident marks the first time since the Warsaw-based OSCE monitoring group was established four years ago that it has bowed out of an election. It follows a flurry of diplomatic visits by Western ambassadors in Tirana, the Albanian capital, to high-ranking officials, including President Sali Berisha, to try to allow the OSCE to remain, the report said. Albanian officials insist the OSCE has caused problems and cooperation will normalize only after a proper and reasonable solution has been found, the newspaper said. (Albanian Times) For full text go to http://www.worldweb.net/~ww1054/articles/election.html.

    [03] U.S. OSCE Commission Criticizes Albania Over Monitors

    WASHINGTON, October 17 - In a statement Thursday on Albania's refusal to accept the full team of OSCE observers, the U.S. OSCE Commission chairman Rep. Christopher H. Smith and Co-Chairman Sen. Alfonse D'Amato called the decision extremely regrettable. Albanian authorities "seem to feel they can determine not only how many observers will be allowed but specifically whom they shall be. This is unacceptable within internationally accepted observation criteria. We therefore support the decision of the ODIHR to withdraw its representatives from Albania, and applaud the OSCE's Parliamentary Assembly for canceling its planned observer team in support of the ODIHR," the statement said. The latest decision indicates that "Albania is becoming less open and possibly less tolerant of political pluralism," it added. The U.S. OSCE commission is made up of nine Senators, nine Representatives and one official each from the Departament of State, Commerce and Defense. (Albanian Times)

    [04] Italy to Send Record Observer Team to Albania

    ROME, October 17 - The 150 strong team of young volunteers flying to Albania Friday as observers for Sunday's local elections will be the biggest such team ever sent by Italy. Ambassador Luigi Ferraris, the Foreign Ministry official responsible for making advance arrangements, told the group ''This has been a unique effort by Italy.'' He said the ministry had received applications from 500 would-be volunteers in just five days. The observers will be split up into 50 three-person teams to work alongside volunteers from the United States and other European countries. Voting is due to take place in 43 cities, 20 small towns and 36 administrative districts, with 38 parties competing for seats. The Italian mission is travelling under the aegis of the Council of Europe, in agreement with the European Union, and it has been coordinated by the Italian Society for Multilateral Organisations. (Albanian Times/ANSA)

    This material was reprinted with permission of AlbAmerica Trade & Consulting International. For more information on ATCI and the Albanian Times, please write to AlbaTimes@aol.com Copyright © ATCI, 1996


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